Google Voice and Video Chat
Wow, I’d like to thank Google for enabling Voice and Video chat in Linux. Thank you for taking the time and effort to support our platform!
In Ubuntu we’ve been shipping Empathy, a chat client based on the Telepathy framework, which has supported Video chat over gtalk (a jabber based network) for quite some time (see my answer on Stack Exchange). In case you didn’t know, Empathy (and the underlying guts) has been primarily developed and supported by a company in the UK called Collabora; who have been funding this work for quite some time. And yeah, they’re basically awesome people to hang out with.
I am wondering why it took Google over 2 years to support this feature. Google decided to support Jabber on purpose, for whatever reason when they launched gtalk; they’ve always been good at supporting open standards, but they never supported this feature until just now. Why?
Those of use using Empathy/Telepathy have been enjoying audio/video support for quite some time, so we know it’s technically possible. And as it works out the people who make our operating system WANT to ship features like this OUT OF THE BOX. Maybe they wanted to and couldn’t get it quite out the door until now. Who am I to complain, without gtalk the Jabber protocol would probably not be as popular, so thanks for that Google folks for putting their hand in that.
I can’t help but wonder why Google would support Jabber right off the bat with gtalk but it would take them so long to support the video/audio feature until now; our Telepathy friends seemed to figure it out — but I don’t want to dwell on that, what I do want to dwell on is a message we need to send to companies like Google: how can we better improve our platform so that it doesn’t take you 2 years to support us.
googlecl searching contacts for mutt
Here’s the magical command for those of you like me who just scrape by on mutt:
set query_command = “google contacts list —title ‘(?i).*%s’”
Thanks to Rick Harding for the help.
Clarifications around Ubuntu using “Google Chrome”
I’d like to clarify some things about our session on default applications and Chromium. I’m about to get on a plane so I will be short before the confusion spreads.
- Chrome and Chromium are not the same thing. Chrome is a non-free build of the Chromium project.
- It is impossible for us to ship Google Chrome as a default web browser without compromising our beliefs. You can read more about our licensing and how that relates here.
- However we have a section in the software center where people can opt-in to have things like Skype, Adobe Reader, and possibly Google Chrome.
- The distribution models of Chromium and Ubuntu/Debian couldn’t be more different, but since Evan Martin from upstream Chromium attended the Ubuntu Development Summit we have begun to identify how we can make this work. Expect more progress here in the future.
- The switch to Chromium has only been identified as possible choice on the Ubuntu Netbook Edition.
- WE LOVE FIREFOX. Mozilla is one of our most important upstreams and we will continue to work with them as we have in the past. Improving Chromium in Ubuntu helps Firefox because they both believe that competition is the best way to drive the web forward. For example we use CouchDB as our default for “sqlless databases”, but work (or plan to work) with MongoDB and Cassandra as well. We ship and integrate puppet by default but that doesn’t stop us from making sure Chef is well supported. No sane operating system vendor would want to artificially limit what developers can do on their platform.
- We should be celebrating the choice of excellent browsers pushing the web.
I hope that clears things up, you’ll be hearing more updates in the usual development channels from the Desktop team as the cycle progresses.